Graduate Assistantship Schedule and Flexibility Policy

Graduate Assistantship Schedule and Flexibility Policy
Type of Policy
abruneau3 Wed, 10/29/2014 - 11:39
Effective Date
Last Revised
Review Date
Policy Owner
Graduate Education
Contact Name
Bonnie Ferri
Contact Title
Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Education
Contact Email
Reason for Policy

To clarify when graduate student work assignments stop and start and the level of acceptable flexibility in hours.

Policy Statement

The work duties of Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) and Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), encompass 4.5 calendar months for fall and spring terms and three calendar months for summer term. The fall term work period consists of half of August and all of September through December. The spring term work period consists of January through April and half of May. Summer term consists of half of May, all of June and July, and half of August. Supervisors are generally expected to employ a GRA or GTA for the full work period, providing continuous employment and pay throughout the year.

GRAs and GTAs are not required to work on official Institute holidays, which appear on the Human Resources web site. In addition, at the discretion of the student’s supervisor, a GRA or GTA may be permitted to average effort over several weeks or cluster research or teaching activities in order to spend one or more weeks away from campus during the semester or, more frequently, during periods when classes are not in session. Any time away requires the approval of the supervisor. This flexibility may be used to allow later start dates for students new to campus. Some work assignments may not permit this flexibility.

GRAs or GTAs appointed to sponsored research projects should monitor their appointments monthly in the Electronic Workload Assignment Form (EWAF), because they will be required to sign an Annual Statement of Reasonableness indicating that the effort they put into projects was correctly recorded. For more information on this Plan Confirmation System, see /personal-services-reporting-using-plan-confirmation-system.


The policy applies to all graduate students and all hiring units.

Policy Terms

Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA)
Part time research job held by a graduate student.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA)
Part time teaching job held by a graduate student.

Graduate Assistant (GA)
Part time research or administrative job held by a graduate student.

The person to whom a graduate assistant reports in his or her work responsibilities.


Graduate programs should communicate these terms of employment to students when they are hired. Graduate student assistants must communicate their needs for schedule flexibility to their supervisors. Supervisors of graduate student assistants must review and approve any flexibility in hours used under this policy.


Hiring Unit
The hiring unit (school, department, or laboratory) is responsible for communicating the dates of work assignments, the number of hours of work expected per week, the extent of flexibility allowed, and the procedure for requesting flexibility.

The supervisor is responsible for keeping the student’s actual workload within the number of hours paid and allowing reasonable flexibility in fulfilling work responsibilities.

Graduate Student Employee
The graduate assistant is responsible for working the number of hours designated for the assignment, requesting flexibility when needed, and abiding by the determination of the supervisor with regard to flexibility requests.


Students who believe this policy has been violated should first approach the individual responsible for the violation to resolve the issue. If the violation persists, the situation should be reported to the head of the next level up from the violation (e.g., school chair or laboratory head in the case of violations by supervisors; deans or institute directors for laboratories) or to the Vice Provost and Postdoctoral Education In case of doubt about where to report, use the EthicsPoint reporting tool. The Georgia Tech Advocacy and Conflict Resolution resources are available to help resolve conflicts.

Policy History
Revision Date Author Description
March 2014 Graduate Education Graduate schedule guidelines. Clarification of when graduate assistantships start and stop and whether any time away from campus is permitted.
June 2024 Graduate Education Editorial Changes